Family Tree Tuesday – Charles Darwin
English naturalist Charles Darwin laid the foundation for evolution in his book On the Origin of Species. Published in 1859, Darwin introduced the theory that populations evolved overtime through the process of natural selection. His revolutionary theory has become a fundamental tenet in the life sciences and in explaining the diversity of life. Today, Darwin is considered one of the most influential figures in human history.
The Darwin-Wedgwood family produced many prominent intellectuals and financiers. Darwin’s maternal grandfather was Josiah Wedgwood, an English potter and founder of the Wedgwood pottery company. He is credited with the industrialization of the manufacture of pottery. Darwin’s paternal grandfather was Erasmus Darwin. Erasmus was a physician and one of the leading thinkers of the 18th century. As a naturalist philosopher, Erasmus proposed a theory of evolution similar to that of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.
In 1839, Charles married his first cousin, Emma Darwin, and together they had ten children. His son, George, became an astronomer and mathematician, while his other son, Francis, followed in his father’s footsteps and studied botany.
Check out Charles Darwin’s family tree and see how you’re related!